Maintain Integrity, Probity in Discharge of Duties - Delta Chief Judge Tasks Election Tribunal.


The State Chief Judge, Justice Marshal Umukoro has charged chairmen and members of Local Government Election Councils Tribunal to uphold integrity and probity in the discharge of their judicial duties.

Justice Umukoro gave the advice while administering oath of office on the 18 newly inaugurated members who would adjudicate on petitions arising from Local Government elections to be conducted on March 6, 2021 in the State by the Delta State Independent Election Commission.

The Chief Judge disclosed that the Local Government Council Election Petition Appeal Tribunal would soon be constituted to hear and determine appeal arising from the decision of the Local Government Council Election Petition Tribunal, emphasising that section 130(3) of the Delta State Independent Electoral Commission Law 2017  provides that the Chairman shall be a Chief Magistrate and two other members who shall be appointed from among Magistrates of the Judiciary of Delta State and Legal Practitioners of at least 10 years post call experience, non-legal practitioners of unquestionable integrity or other members of the Judiciary of Delta State not below the rank of a Magistrate.

"I have deliberately decided to draw your attention to the provisions of the Law which I consider germane to your duties. None of you lobbied to be appointed. I exercised my powers and discretion to the best of my knowledge in bringing you on board to enrich the administration of justice in the area of election into the Local Government Councils in the State, " he emphasized.

He charged the panelists to arm themselves with Law reports on election disputes, even as he admonished them to avoid beer parlours, parties, gossips and other vices inimical to their professional status, as they were in the public eyes.

On the legal basis on which an election petition may be filed by a candidate in an election and a political party which participated in the election, Justice Umukoro explained  that an election may be questioned on the ground that a person whose election was questioned has, at the time of the election not qualified to context, that the election was invalid by reason of corrupt practices or not in accordance with the law, that the respondent not duly elected by majority of the valid votes or that the petitioner or its candidate was validly nominated but was unlawfully excluded.

The Chief Judge told members of the Tribunal that election petition shall be filed within 21 days after the declaration of the results of the election while it has 180 days from the date of the filing of the petition to deliver judgement. 

He added that an appeal from a decision of an election petition tribunal shall be heard and disposed off within 90 days from the date of the delivery of the judgement of the tribunal.

Responding on behalf of members of the Tribunal, the chairman of Delta North Panel 1 Ena Odjugo ( Chief Magistrate Special Grade) thanked the Chief Judge, Justice Marshal Umukoro for finding them worthy for the appointment, promising to discharge their duties judiciously and judicially without fear or favour.

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